Nasty politics in The Big Land: Inside Peter Penashue’s bid to regain his seat after spending scandal


Originally posted on National Post | News:

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — Peter Penashue stares at a map of Labrador in his byelection campaign office and traces a line through Happy Valley-Goose Bay in the centre, north to Voisey’s Bay and remote Nain.

He figures communities in that vast swath of what’s called The Big Land represent his best shot at getting back to Ottawa as Labrador MP in a byelection May 13.

Penashue, who resigned last month over illegal donations accepted in the 2011 federal campaign, openly declares that southern shore towns, such as Cartwright and Red Bay, will go to Liberal challenger Yvonne Jones.

Farther west in Labrador City and Wabush, NDP candidate Harry Borlase may have an edge, he said.

But in an increasingly personal and nasty campaign, Penashue is certain that recent polls suggesting a wide lead for Jones don’t reflect what he hears from voters.

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“There’s no question the polls…

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